Pitching her business on an episode of Shark Tank was a lot like any other investor meeting, said Alice Rossiter Lewis, founder of Alice’s Table.
Except Shark Tank has bright lights, cameras rolling and Sara Blakely, the Atlanta-based founder of Spanx, as a prospective investor.
Blakely has appeared as a guest shark during season nine of the ABC show which helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses. She has been an avid supporter of women entrepreneurs, both locally and across the country.
“It is such an exhilarating moment to be out there standing with incredible entrepreneurs and you have a moment to speak to them and be heard which is incredible,” said Lewis by phone while en route to New York for a television appearance. “They ask all the right questions that investors typically do so I don’t think anything was a major curve ball for me.”
Lewis, 28, had done her research on all the Sharks and felt her appearance on the show yielded the best possible outcome. She walked away with a deal from Mark Cuban and Blakely.
“I think Sara is such an inspiration and such a strong business leader. For me, she really symbolizes what hard work can bear. She knows the hustle,” Lewis said.
Since the show, Lewis has worked with Cuban and Blakely’s teams to plan the future of her business.
In 2015, Lewis launched Alice’s Table, an event host program which currently focuses on flower arranging. Women who sign up to become an Exec with the company get a starter kit including everything they need to teach flower arranging classes to other women at a range of events.
When Lewis appeared on Shark Tank, the company had 100 Execs, now they are up to 180 Execs with three in Atlanta, she said.
“We view Atlanta as a new, incredible market for us certainly with Sara being there it is a focus for us in the future,” Lewis said.
For now the company is only offering flower arranging events, but Lewis sees a future when Execs from Alice’s Table will expand into other lifestyle segments such as cooking, crafts or other things that can be taught in a home and that are fun and creative.
“I hope people see Alice’s Table as a business that empowers women and helps women have the support and the system to be entrepreneurs,” Lewis said. “It comes with great freedom and great rewards but it takes incredible hard work. We really symbolize that and we are a supportive community that helps people with that.”